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Cutting Trees in Gettysburg


    Mature trees are cluttering the grounds of one of the Civil War's ugliest killing fields, Gettysburg. To solve that problem, to restore the treeless sight lines that historians say the Union and Confederate armies enjoyed, crews are taking chainsaws to hundreds of trees at Gettysburg National Military Park.
Gettscenic_copy     By the time the loggers are done, they'll have cleared nearly 600 acres of the park's grounds. Once the trees are gone, Jim Johnson, the park's resource planning chief, told the York Daily Record, "people will probably stop and look at the view, and it'll make sense."
    Hmmm, following that logic, should the South Rim of the Grand Canyon be cleared of its facilities to give us all a better look (along with proper context) of the canyon? Should the Old Faithful Inn be relocated so as not to detract from its namesake geyser? Should Curry Village be sent packing from the Yosemite Valley so visitors might experience what the valley actually looked like before whites arrived?
    (OK, before you think of flaming me, rest assured that last graf was written largely with tongue-in-cheek. But really, if one is searching for the proper historical context of our national parks....)
    Anyway, along with cutting those sight-blocking trees, Gettysburg crews also plan to plant 165 acres of orchards reminiscent of those that existed during the battle, along with another 65 acres of thickets.


The last time I looked, Adams County, PA, where Gettysburg sits, had few trees to give up and still have some woodlots (forget about honest to gawd forests) around. Hey, if we follow this logic, we ought to finish what drought started and drain Lake Powell, restoring Glen Canyon to the way it looked when Major Powell and others passed that way.

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